Hello, my name is Davina Whyte. I am a rising senior at Northwood High School. This summer I had the opportunity to participate in the Summer R.I.S.E. program. Summer R.I.S.E. (Real Interesting Summer Experience) is a unique opportunity for Montgomery County High School students to explore potential careers and for local businesses to participate in developing a talent pipeline. I thought the Summer R.I.S.E. program would be a great opportunity for me to experience the workfield.
During my first week as an intern for the marketing and communications department at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), I was able to experience what it is like to work in a professional setting. When I first found out I was assigned to USG, I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in because I am a high school student working with adults and I didn’t know much about marketing and communications. The staff at USG were inviting and my coordinators, Laura and Kristen, were able to teach me everything I needed to know and helped me with my projects that I had to complete. I knew that if I had a question I could just ask them and that is a very comforting feeling being in a new environment where I didn’t know anyone. Working with marketing and communications really helped me gain a better understanding of what really happens behind the scenes of getting the USG message out there.
While working on my project I learned how to plan and take notes. I’ve also learned how to conduct focus groups and become more comfortable with public speaking. Attending meetings has taught me that taking other people’s opinions into consideration is also important. Another big thing that I learned was that not everything you do is perfect the first time. Most things take multiple tries and you will sometimes need help along the way and that’s where teamwork comes into play. With marketing and communications, they have a lot of things to do and by them coming together to show how much progress they have made and what they need to work on is an important part to working in a professional setting.
Now that I have spent these three weeks here, I am definitely going to miss all the people that I have met. Luckily, I plan on attending the University of Maryland, College Park at USG and majoring in Communications. All in all, my experience at USG has been a great one. I would encourage other students who are looking for a way to gain experience in a business setting to participate in the Summer R.I.S.E. program and look for an internship opportunity at USG.